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Retired judge: Most of Arkansas medical marijuana signatures valid

by The Associated Press | September 27, 2016 at 4:46 p.m. | Updated September 27, 2016 at 5:52 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK — A retired Arkansas judge appointed by the state Supreme Court to review a medical marijuana initiative's petitions as part of a lawsuit said Tuesday that more than enough valid signatures were submitted for the proposal.

Separately, the Supreme Court said it wouldn't reconsider its decision to reject another lawsuit trying to block the proposal.

Retired Judge John B. Robbins said in a report issued to the court that he disqualified 2,087 of the signatures submitted and approved by election officials for the proposal, leaving it with 75,429 valid signatures. The proposal needed at least 67,887 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November ballot.

Robbins was appointed by the court to review the signatures as justices consider a lawsuit aimed at blocking votes on it in the November election. The lawsuit had challenged more than 15,000 signatures submitted, arguing supporters of the proposal didn't follow state law for reporting and registering paid canvassers.

The lawsuit filed by Little Rock attorney Kara Benca also claims the proposal's wording is misleading to voters. Patrick Benca, her husband and attorney in the case, did not immediately return a call Tuesday afternoon.

The head of Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the measure, said she was "thrilled" with Robbins' findings.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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